Quidem Format change requests go to consultation

Ofcom has opened a consultation after Quidem requests its six stations make significant changes to their output.

Quidem earlier confirmed to RadioToday that it has entered into an agreement with Global to broadcast one of its brands across its stations, currently known as Banbury Sound, Rugby FM and Touch.

Today, Ofcom reveals Quidem has asked to change each of the six licences from broadly-based, locally-focused services to a rhythmic-based music-led service for 15-29 year-olds supplemented with news, information and entertainment”.

The only Global brand to fit the new Format is Capital, which operates within the same Approved Area from Birmingham. Adding Capital to the six licences would give it significantly more coverage around the West Midlands.

In addition to its requests to change the ‘Character of Service’ of the six licences, Quidem has made associated requests with regard to the requirements in the Formats relating to locally-made programming hours, programme sharing and co-location arrangements. These requests have already been approved.

Ofcom says: “We have taken a preliminary view on the requests and are minded to grant them. However, we are seeking views on the requests before we make a decision. The consultation closes at 5pm on Wednesday 30th October 2019.”

If approved, Quidem would need to provide at least three hours of output per weekday on its six stations from within the Central area, with the rest allowed to be broadcast from London.

Here’s how the TSAs of Capital Birmingham and all the Quidem stations look together: (Source: RAJAR)

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  1. mb23 says

    The new Capital stations cannot take the Birmingham/East Midlands drive show, even though they are in the Ofcom Central region, because different owners have to produce their own local content. They need to produce their own 3 hour drive show.

    1. Radio Geordie says

      One 3-hour show on a weekday still costs considerably less than the current arrangement.

  2. Brian says

    If it’s likely to get approved by Ofcom – how soon do you think broadcasting using the new format would be in place?

    1. Martin Kong says

      Earliest would be January 2020.

    2. Martin Kong says

      The earliest would probably be January 2020. Latest Autumn 2020.

    3. Radio Geordie says


  3. Mr Boltar says

    Since Global is involved naturally Ofcom will say yes sir 3 bags full sir despite it meaning less choice for the listener.

    Why don’t they just sell up to Global and be done with it. I despair of the UK music radio industry at the moment. Frankly it deserves to be dead and buried by streaming services and internet radio.

    1. mb23 says

      The financial situation means that if they say no Quidem could go bust, and there will just be static on those frequencies. This way journalists’ jobs are saved.

      Global probably wouldn’t be allowed to own them because of the West Midlands regional stations.

      1. Mr Boltar says

        There wouldn’t be static if sensible prices were charged for licenses. That way commercial radio stations wouldn’t need to earn the GDP of a small country just to stay on air.

        1. JW says

          Wow who knew Compass FM in Grimsby earned the GDP of a small country?

      2. Radio Geordie says

        Bauer owns the others so why wouldn’t they be allowed?

    2. sj says

      A loss-making group with a 10% reach wants to increase audience by re-broadcasting a vastly-more-popular brand. Simple. It’s funny you mention internet radio and streaming because it’s precisely that added competition that means the radio model of 1989 simply does not work anymore. Blame Ofcom or global if you like but – fact is – nobody’s listening to Quidem!

  4. Nathan says

    Radio is dead I live in derby,I unfforntly can get crapital on 102 .2 102.8 96.2 105.4 now it looks like 102.4 will be it again wheres the choice.we dont want same rubbish pop junk day in day out why not just call the fm band global n capital.internet radio for me so much choice.WE DO NOT NEED ANTHER CAPITAL

  5. lee says

    We don’t need more Capital FM stations as we can already hear Capital UK on DAB throughout most of the country including in these areas. We really need more choice not more of the same. However Global are involved so OFCOM will approve the changes mark my words. Global get want Global want as always. I love this regulator, NOT! Thank goodness for internet radio and streaming services who offer something different and often original which OFCOM little or no control.

    1. Brian says

      I agree, but until DAB can get better bitrates – FM is still the way to go.

  6. lee says

    What makes Quidem think their audiences would want to hear such a major format change as Capital which can already be heard on DAB in the area anyway? We need choice not the same old.

    1. mb23 says

      Smooth & Heart are already available on FM across most of the Quidem licence areas, so Capital was the obvious choice (the Birmingham FM signal doesn’t cover Warwickshire).

  7. Craig Strong says

    How coincidental that it was the group that Steve Orchard was a key player in, GWR, and it was mainly down to this group that started the demise in what was local radio, and now Steve has , or is selling more stations to Global, firstly when GWR sold to Capital, and now this.
    As for the target age group of the stations listeners, why do they not think that older listeners would like to hear a station that doesn’t just cater to the younger listener?

  8. whiteacre86 says

    Couldn’t Global format-flip these to Radio X instead, even if it’s “in-name-only” Radio X to provide something new in the Midlands?

    How easy would it be to franchise Radio X with local drive and one local weekend show?

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